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The Fern Flower

In the real world, ferns don't flower. They evolved many millions of years before the first flowering plants appeared. But in the magic world of Slavic and Baltic folklore, the laws of nature don't always apply. There are exceptions, though they are rare and hard to find. At midnight on Midsummer's Eve, deep in the forests, a fern may bloom for a moment, glowing with its own inner light. Its power can bring luck and fortune to a person who manages to find it – but the finder will have to keep it from the demons who want it too. Ferns were themselves believed to offer protection against demons, so they were sometimes set on roofs or over doors on Midsummer Night, when the spirits were feared to be especially active.

Some traditions promise that finding a fern flower will lead a person to hidden treasure, or wealth – though it won't necessarily make them happy. And while other midsummer traditions, like seeing where river currents take flower crowns, offer to tell people about who their future spouses will be, the fern flower is said to help them attract the lovers or partners of their choice.

Jerry Heil, alyona alyona and Ela have some things to say about fern flowers in their song #KUPALA.

Picture: Bajka o kwiecie paproci (The Tale of the Fern Flower), by Antoni Piotrowski, Poland, c. 1910.